Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Why I Am Delighted With The Revised DBS Multiplier Changes

Savings have been an integral part of our approach towards financial freedom since we started working 12 years ago. 

There are many competitive savings accounts in the market that are giving out decent interest rates and meeting various needs of the consumers. 

When DBS Multiplier Account was first introduced in 2014, I quickly made the switch to park most of my emergency funds and investment warchest into the account.  

Back then, my criteria was simple. 

I needed a savings account that can reward me with the best return yet was flexible with the criteria such that I could easily meet them. 

In 2017, they changed their criterion with regards to the salary credit with no minimum requirement. This means regardless of how much you are earning, you are eligible to satisfy this criteria for as long as you have a salary credited as an employee. I like this because it caters to those who’ve started working and the bank wants you to stick with them and grow together as you progress in your career later on. 

Their next criterion hinges upon the number of categories that you can hit depending on your stage in life. The bank’s strategy is to have you to grow your life journey with them. The more bundled package you sign up with them, the higher interest return you will be able to get on your savings.

P.S: For more information on the specific terms and conditions, please read on the FAQ on the DBS Multiplier website which explains what works and what does not.

My Own (3Fs) Experience

For myself, this fits perfectly into my plan at this stage of my life as I am able to satisfy the majority of the categories. 

Other than the salary credit which I have it with them, I also own the DBS Altitude card for my miles accumulation project as well as the POSB Everyday Card for our day to day spending which gives decent cashback and rebates. 

For my investments, I also opened a Vickers account to transact some of my bigger trades that require a CDP account. I have to admit that I do have multiple brokerage accounts with Lim&Tan and Standard Chartered Bank as a preventive measure in case I needed to sell some positions urgently.

Last but not least, I have changed my current home loan to DBS home loan which gives me the best rate so far among the many others I’ve investigated. 

With that, I have unlocked the “Salary + 3 Categories” on my savings account which yields me 3.5% on the first $50k savings I have with them. 

While I am happy that I am able to earn 3.5% risk free on my savings, the $50k amount that caps the bonus interests means that I am only able to earn a maximum of $1,750 interests in a year while anything above $50k will be based on base rate. 

I have problem with this because my emergency funds and warchest combined usually exceeds $50k so I have to source for an alternative to park my savings.

The New Changes (effective 1st May 2019)

With the new changes effective 1st May 2019, the Multiplier account will increase the account balance to $100k, which spike interest I am so happy about. 

The new step-up interest comes with a stricter requirement as they want consumers to take on more lateral interests in satisfying 3 or more categories to earn the higher step-up interest. 

I have no issues with that because I have already satisfied that requirement even prior to the changes. 

Obviously, as a bank in their position, they also want consumers to step up the volume transactions so the reward is staggered in such a way that yields the most returns if consumers can transact $30k or more in a month. 

The maximum effective interest rates on the new revised multiplier changes is now 3.65% on the first $100k, which means if you have $100k balance in your account and meet all the criteria, you stand to gain an interest of $3,650 per annum.

Do You Know?

You may think that it’s near impossible task to be transacting more than $30k per month but let me give an idea or two on how you can increase your transactions with the strategy I did.

The first is by strategizing your investment category through crediting of your CDP dividends into the Multiplier account. For someone who’s receiving an annual dividend income of about $30k per annum based on 5% yield on a $600k capital, this can add up to about $2,500 per month.

If you are one of those who regularly allocate capital into the market to purchase equities every month, this would also qualify your purchase into the total transactions assuming you are using DBS Vickers online trading platform.

If you are looking for a life insurance coverage to supplement your other insurance policies on hand, you can also consider purchasing them from DBS/POSB and the premium you pay every month will be counted towards the total transactions.

The Multiplier account is also one of the more rare savings accounts that recognizes joint salary credits. That means if you and your spouse open a joint account and have both your salary credited into the joint account, the total combined would count for the total transactions.

Adding all of the above strategies, your total transactions would likely hit above the $30k requirement. In my case, this is how it usually adds up (range):


The main reason why I am using the DBS Multiplier is because their requirements fit into my plan at this stage of my life. 

That doesn’t mean the other products are worse when compared to the Multiplier but they weren’t a good fit to my lifestyle at this stage. 

For instance, the UOB One Savings Account has less stricter requirements with only credit card spend above $500 and 3 GIRO payment but rewards consumer with lower effective interest rate of 2.44% on their first $75k (staggered every $15k). 

On the other hand, while the BOC Smart Saver (effective 1st April 2019) has high effective interest rate return of 3.55% on the first $60k, their requirement on the salary credit needs to be above $6k and credit card spend to be above $1.5k per month to qualify for the higher bonus interests. This is clearly catered to the middle income class who’s earning above the median and are heavy spenders on their cards. 

It is best to review each of the requirement holistically because they cater to different needs of different people who are in different stages of their lives. 

For me, I’ll stick with it for now because the revised Multiplier plan just makes it more attractive for me to stay on.

This post is written in collaboration with DBS but all opinions are solely mine.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. Hi B,

    I thought you are on sabbatical?


    1. Hi WK

      I'm still working until the end of May this month :)

  2. yeah, I agree it is best to review each of the requirement holistically. Nice advice. You should currently stock with the revised DBS multiplier.

    1. Thanks MMF.

      Yeah I agree it's a nice complement to a risk free return if you meet the criteria of what is required.

  3. dang, i am already currently on the 30k bracket (with 3.5% on the first 50k), but cannot seem to find the 3rd category!
    no house loan, no insurance (with manulife)

    but maybe i can get the cheapest term plan avail? haha.

    1. Hi FC

      Yeah the 3rd category is always the hardest. BTW most of their insurance plans are with manulife as well but they are mostly for whole life so not sure if it will fit your current profile given you already have one with manulife.

  4. Too bad I can't credit my salary into dbs as I have to credit it into the bank I work with. Any idea, it allows monthly giro a sum in to constitute salary ,like the scb supersaver acc?

    1. Hi LC

      Ah I see. In that case you are probably working with the other banks which probably has similar competitive returns like dbs. The ocbc 360, uob one or the citimaxgain are all offering very competitive rates as well.

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